Day 20: Can Tho to Rach Gia: Hitting the 1000km Mark

Can Tho to Rach Gia


Distance: 118.5km

Total: 1054.7km

Vietnamese FOD: From August 2006 to March 2007, the Vietnamese dong was the world’s lowest valued currency unit.

Everyday Randomness: ice being thrown in with pigs to keep them cold!

After a fresh noodle breakfast (but not a soup!)which cost a whopping 60cent and was served with ice tea which we’re quickly becoming big fans of, we left Can Tho and our mango coloured hotel.

It was nicely overcast (only ever said by an Irish person who is abroad) and the first 40km flew by. Can Tho’s popution of 1.5 million made more sense to us as we left the city as it took about 10km to reach its outskirts.

From the food tour we know that the Trung Nguyen coffee is one of the best. Since then we have been paying more attention to the type of coffee. We therefore stopped at a place that sold it and had a sweet but sophisticated ice coffee.

We had a cycling comrade with us today, just a local guy who was able to hold about a 21km/hr speed for over 20km on a single speed! Now he was making the most of this drafting opportunity but still pretty impressive!

From there we turned off the road we’d been on and onto a slightly smaller and less smooth road. The decrease in cycling space did not have a direct relationship with the number of large buses unfortunately. However, on the plus side we did manage to stop a guy selling dragon fruit and bought one for about 12 cent! Dragon fruit is more refreshing that water melon and as sweet as a strawberry; perfect.

It was just as well we had it because the food places that were not either occupied by the owner or deserted were few and far between. We looked in every place with plastic chairs for food for about 10km until we eventually found the only busy-looking place for miles. The lunch definitely did not trump breakfast but was much appreciated!

Today, evidence of the paddy fields was prominent. We also got to see what living on the Mekong Delta is like. The first thing that struck me is how calm the water is, it’s very pacifying. It’s quite bizarre to see water in between houses and washing lines strung rather precariously between them. Passing over the myriad of bridges is when the best views can be experienced. Looking left and right brings sights of endless canals as they call them here! 

Rach Gia fast approached us for the last 10km anyways (the previous 20 had been quite the bumpy road)! We were coming in just as sunset was starting and the views were class.

We are literally celebrities here. They must never see tourists as this is the first time we have received attention off the bike. People were literally going out of their way to make sure they got their own personal “Hello” in! 

We were eager to try and catch actual sunset at the waterfront so we showered and headed out. Unfortunately the spot we had picked out on the waterfront had some function on so were only serving food but it was a bit early for that! 

Getting the best of the sunset in Rach Gia:

I think we had seen the best of the sunset anyways because it was quite cloudy and I think actual sunset could have been disappointingly underwhelming! We happened upon a Japanese “cafe” that was actually a full blown restaurant and sat legs crossed for as long as we could (half an hour) while sipping smoothies.

An hour or so later, in a great marketing ploy, they gave us a taster of a pork dish which was unreal. With no where else sounding inspiring in LP we opted to eat there so they were pretty successful! 

We got two beautifully balanced noodle soups with creamy eggs and a salmon sushi which did need a bit of a soy sauce which was surprisingly not present at the table! 

It turned out that Rach Gia wasn’t as cool as we thought it was initially as it lacked a centre where people gathered. We tried and failed to find an ice-cream spot or even a busy beer place. We ended up getting a smoothie and returning back to the hotel to escape the rain!

We’ll be at the border town of Ha Tien tomorrow so have to enjoy our last few days in Vietnam!

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